It’s cookie season right now, which means smells of chocolate and peppermint or green and red sprinkles should be filling the kitchen counters. Instead, I decided to make the most spring inspired cookie in the book. Maybe my head skipped Christmas and I fast forwarded to Easter. These purple dotted shortbread took me to warmer days and sunny skies, where the smell of grass is fresh and pastel hued flowers have just started to bloom.
This yearning for spring started when I visited the flower market to buy some poinsettia plants. Instead of being hit by the red festive bug, I was more enthralled to find little pots of herbs. In New York, I bought baby herb plants at the Union Square Greenmarket in the spring and kept them on my kitchen sill until they became barren or out of control. I love having plants around, but I admit, I’m sort of a serial plant killer. I can never seem to keep them alive to see the new year. Maybe these new herbs I bought will fair better. If I start to fail, my mother’s green thumb will come to the rescue.
These cookies were inspired by those herbs and executed using the 1-2-3 cookie dough from the book Ratio by Michael Ruhlman. If you haven’t already heard of this book, then I highly recommend it to those who wish to know about the foundation of cooking and baking. Ruhlman gives the reader an explanation and a formula that can be manipulated and formed to fit the type of dish he/she wants to create. In a sense, it’s very mathematical, but I find baking, especially, to use the limited math skills I brought over from grade school. The book is not only very informative but easy to follow. I whizzed through it and my only regret is that I did not take notes or memorize all the ratios by heart.
Lavender Shortbread Cookies
Adapted from Ratio
2 ounces sugar (about 4 1/2 tablespoons)
4 ounces or 1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
4 ounces or 1 cup all purpose flour
2 ounces or 1/4 to 1/2 cup almond meal
3/4 teaspoon fresh lavender, chopped
Cream sugar and butter with a whisk. Add flour, almond meal, and lavender. Mix until combined. Form into a log or desired width (mine was 1 1/4 inches wide). Wrap in plastic wrap and chill for at least 1 hour.
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Slice into desired thickness and bake for 12-15 minutes if small, or 15-20 minutes if larger. Cool on a wire rack.